Dr. Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy, called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif earlier today. Dr. Moniz was joined during the call by Amb. Carlos Pascual, U.S. Special Envoy for International Energy Cooperation, Ms. Elizabeth Littlefield, President of OPIC, Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator and Deputy National Security Adviser Ms. Caroline Atkinson.
The U.S. Energy Secretary lauded the efforts of the Government of Pakistan in dealing with the serious energy challenges facing the country and offered continued U.S. support to Pakistan in meeting its growing energy requirements.
The Prime Minister appreciated U.S. assistance in the energy sector and emphasized that U.S. support would prove critical in executing all the projects in the energy sector. The Prime Minister apprised the U.S. side of the steps taken by the Government to address the power crisis, including the retirement of US $5 billion in “circular debt”, devising a National Energy Policy and undertaking numerous power projects including Diamer-Bhasha and Dassu Dams.
The U.S. Secretary expressed his appreciation and admiration for the most comprehensive and effective reforms introduced by the Government, both to overcome the energy crisis and to improve the energy mix. He said that the present government’s policy to replace “red tape” with “red carpet” would greatly encourage the investors.
Both sides agreed to continue working closely in the Energy sector through the existing mechanism of the Energy Working Group under the Strategic Dialogue. The next Energy Working Group meeting is expected to take place in mid-November in the U.S.
The Prime Minister was assisted by Mr. Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Finance Minister, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani